How to Install an Iron Railing

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Tools Required
  • Flat blade screwdriver
  • Carpenter's level
  • Electric drill
  • 1/4-in. masonry bit
  • Hacksaw
  • Pliers
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • Center punch
  • 7/16-in. box end wrench
  • Adjustable angle
Materials Required
  • Railing sections
  • Posts
  • Columns
  • Hardware
  • Bolt fittings
  • Rust-inhibiting paint

Before You Begin

Below are the steps involved in installing an iron railing. If you want to get an estimate from a local metail railing installer click here to Home Advisor, a free referral service that matches homeowners with local contractors.

  • Step 1 : Layout the railing components on paper

    Make a sketch of the porch with measurements and use the planning installation information provided by the railing manufacturer to lay out the position of the railings. Use the sketch to determine how many railing sections, posts and columns are needed for the installation.

  • Step 2 : Install the posts

    Install the posts

    The posts fit into a flange that is installed first, then the railing fits into it.

    The posts fit into a flange

    Use the masonry bit to drill flange holes about 4 inches from the edge of the porch deck.

    Use the masonry bit to drill flange holes

    Then fasten the flange with bolts and attach the railing to the posts with the fittings.

  • Step 3 : Slant the railings

    Slant the railings

    To slant railings for use on steps, apply downward pressure and then endwise to the top rail to make the pickets parallel to the post at the end of the steps.

    lant the railings

    Cut the ends so they are parallel to the posts and drill mounting holes in the top and bottom rails.

  • Step 4 : Tighten connections and paint

    Tighten connections and paint

    Check to see that all the connections are tight and then paint the railing and posts with a rust-inhibiting paint for topcoat protection.

    Illustrations courtesy